Detroit girl, 9, killed by dogs, owner in custody: police
The owner of three dogs is in custody after they viciously attacked and killed a 9-year-old girl who had been playing in an alley near her home in Detroit, police said on Tuesday.
Emma Hernandez was riding her bike Monday afternoon when the three dogs – described as pit bulls or pit bull mixes – escaped from a yard and attacked her, police told Fox 2.
She died at a hospital and the dog's owner was arrested. No charges have been filed.
"I tried my best. I tried CPR. I tried helping her. I did everything I could in my power," Emma's father, Armando Hernandez, told WWJ-AM on Tuesday. "She was gone when I reached her."
Deborah Golden, a neighbor who tried to help Emma, told WXYZ-TV she heard the girl screaming and “was aware something bad had happened.”
“I seen the little girl flat in her back with the bite marks and part of her neck hanging off,” Golden said. “I started CPR and I had the dad grab the neck and hold it.”
I'm really heartbroken right now. I can't explain it. Just, every time I close my eyes, man, I see my baby girl.
A bystander shot and killed one of the dogs while a medical crew tried to save the girl. The other dogs were captured. Neighbors threw bricks at the dogs to try to stop the attack, police said.
"They were not stopping," Edward Cruz, who said he hurled a brick after hearing screams, told The Detroit News. "I had to step in."
Hernandez said the dogs lived at a house behind his, and he had argued with the neighbor about them last week. Hernandez said the dogs weren't properly restrained and the fence was too flimsy.
"I knew the dogs were there. I knew the neighbor," he said. "We had an argument about it just last week and he just didn't take care of his dogs properly. He could have prevented this."
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Hernandez said he kept replaying the tragedy and felt "empty."
"I'm really heartbroken right now. I can't explain it," he said. "Just, every time I close my eyes, man, I see my baby girl."
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Animal Control took possession of the remaining dogs, WXYZ reported.
City officials said the dogs will likely be euthanized. Prosecutors are now determining what charges, if any, their owner may face.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.